Like hundreds of women, I qued at attractions across Europe for somewhere between fifteen minutes to a record forty five minutes at the Colosseum, where my male travelling companion could get in after a maximum of five minutes.
France wasn't much better, with excruciating waits at both the Louvre and Musee D'Orsay. The British Museum and Natural History Museum were also toilet que marathons!
It begs the question why the physical and social differences between males and females in relation to toiletting needs are so rarely taken into account?
Us women even held up our tour group at the Vatican for over half hour as we and our tour group waited patiently, but inconveniently, for us to "relieve ourselves".
The wait at the Vatican and the Colosseum finally "pissed me off" to the extent of commencing a 'relief for women' campaign via my blog!
Having spent a total of at least twelve hours queing for such facilities at iconic museums and attractions over four weeks and with a pretty strong bladder, it gave me plenty of time to consider the following points.
Firstly, women outnumber men in almost all cultures. We either sit or squat to empty our bladders, therefore taking longer and requiring more space than men, when uriniting, as unlike us they can stand up and urinate. Men only require a cubicle with a toilet when defacating, a physical elimination, that happens way less frequently than that of urination for either sex.
Secondly, more often than not, women, rather than men, accompany small children into toilets, for them to be able to empty their bladders safely and under supervision. A mother and three young children can occupy a single cubicle for up to twenty minutes!
Just in case any reader is unaware, women also menstruate, which takes additional time to deal with when toiletting and our bladders can be weakened by both child-bearing and menopause, which means more frequent visits to the toilet.
Taking into account all these factors, it seems to me women require at least three times the number of male toilets to even be anywhere near equal to the quick access generally available for male bladder relief.
I only wish some organisation would actually turn my observations into a scientific, statistical or dare I say "time and motion" study.
I do apologise for my toilet humour. However, it too was well developed during my travels. Indeed about the only advantage I gained from those long waits was meeting some very good humoured and engaging women, stuck in the same position as myself!
Please pass my observations on to any architects or public planners and policy makers, and feel free to add your own anecdotes to support a truly solid campaign for more womens toilets!